About the joint
Where does one start? McDonalds is not a burger joint. Not any more. It is a concept. A symbol of 20th century America, and in some sense, the very embodiment and ultimate expression of Manifest Destiny. Before Ray Kroc turned it into a poster child for Globalization, McDonalds surely possessed many of the traits serious derbists look for in a burger joint. The burger has been cemented in the fore of the world's culinary psyche, and for this much thanks is owed to Ronald & Co.
The intoxicating smell of McDonalds frites are kryptonite to even the most die-hard nutrition freak. The sight of a Happy Meal brings back waves of nostalgia to many adults. And who doesn't get a glimmer of hope that this will be the year they collect both Boardwalk and Park Place?
For all their tens of thousands of locations and billions served, it seems they can no longer turn out a hamburger that actually tastes like a hamburger. Go to any backyard barbecue in North America. Go to any local joint that uses half decent ingredients. Hell, cook up almost any frozen patty from almost any grocery store. All of those burgs will have a thread of burgness woven through them. Then eat a Quarter Pounder from Mickey Dees. What is that? What is that flavour? It certainly doesn't taste anything that remotely resembles a hamburger. It just tastes like McDonalds... but maybe that's ok.